Published On: Wed, Sep 27th, 2017

Down but not out: Businesses reopening

garbage in Simpson Bay 20170927 HHGREAT BAY –Things are not what they used to be, but we see the island slowly but surely recovering from the devastation Hurricane Irma created. Some readers have asked us not to sugarcoat the situation. And while we don’t intend to do that, we have also come to realize that many locals have had more than enough of hurricane-pictures. They don’t want to see destruction, they want to see recovery.

And those signs of recovery are there. Clean up crews react with a big smile to every thumbs-up they get from passing motorists. The streets are getting cleaner, garbage is being burned, roofs are being repaired and businesses are reopening.

Red Piano sign 20170927 HHYesterday we saw that Pineapple Pete in Simpson Bay is reopening today – Thursday. Topper’s has wrapped practically its whole roof in blue tarp and is open for business. The Buccaneer Beach Bar in Pelican Key is open and also serves as a temporary outlet for the ice cream parlor The Carousel. That place will open for business again on Sunday. The Red Piano in Pelican Key is also open.

Also, Le Grand Marché supermarket on Bush Road is open, be it with a limited assortment. But there is cheese, dairy products, bread, some vegetables and other products. Sunny foods on Illidge Road is also open, as are quite some of the smaller mini markets.

Ocean Explorers 20170927 HHOn the downside we saw that the concreted parking lot in Simpson Bay next to the Royal Palm has become a temporary garbage dump and that the diver center just behind it – Ocean Explorers – has been completely destroyed. Across the road, Lee’s Roadside Grill is also in bad shape.

Lees roadside grill 20170927 HHThis is obviously not a comprehensive overview of everything that has been destroyed and every business that had reopened. The examples only serve to indicate that, as Prime Minister Marlin put it earlier this week, St. Maarten has been knocked down, but not knocked out.